The internet has been abuzz over the past two weeks over a pay controversy with two stars in Netflix’s acclaimed drama, The Crown. News broke last week that the Queen herself, The Crown’s lead Claire Foy, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who portrays her husband Prince Philip on the series.
Fans were outraged over the news, and a petition even began calling for Matt Smith to donate a portion of his pay to “Time’s Up”, a movement growing across the entertainment industry inspired by the recent wave of sexual assault allegations occurring almost daily. Neither Foy nor Smith have given statements on the pay difference.
Deadline recently reported the newest update on Netflix’s ongoing issue. Producers of The Crown have issued an apology over the pay disparity between their two stars. They first defended their decision to pay Smith more by claiming he was more a high-profile actor than Foy due to his past role as Doctor Who. But the producers then quickly moved on to their apology statement.
“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” the statement read. “Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.”
They continued, “We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.”
The Crown’s producers have since promised that the actress taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth will now be paid more than any star on the series.